Seoul hosts int’l photojourn exhibit on COVID-19 both offline, online


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Seoul hosts int’l photojourn exhibit on COVID-19 both offline, online

( – October 20, 2020 – 10:09am

(As released) The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will host the “2020 Seoul International Photojournalism Exhibition: 2020 Seoul of New Hope” both offline and online to showcase photos taken by global photojournalists who capture moments of “chaos, desperation, courage and hope” at the very front line of the COVID-19 pandemic situation around the world.

Around 120 photos including Sebastiao Moreira’s photo that covered COVID-19 taken by 70 international photographers from global news outlets including AP, AFP, REUTERS, EPA, The New York Times, Xinhua News Agency, Getty Images, Rex Features (Shutterstock) and PENTA PRESS will be on display.

Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and organized by news photo agency PENTA PRESS, the exhibition will be held for two months from October 20 to December 20 which aims to deliver a message of hope under the unprecedented pandemic situation.

The final exhibition photos were selected by the photo selection committee consisting of five photo-related professionals from home and abroad, including James  Kelly, associate professor and director of journalism of Indiana University; Cecilia Bohan, photo directing advisor at The New York Times; and Gary Kemper, a former photojournalist and the advisor to International Olympic Committee Media Operations.

The exhibition comprises the Main Exhibition and the Special Exhibition.

For the Main Exhibition, a total of 70 photos featuring the global pandemic will be displayed with storytelling themes of “Chaos, Desperation, Courage and Hope.” They will present the world’s scenes of chaos and pains brought by the coronavirus and people’s courageous struggle against the virus to overcome the crisis.

Along with the Main Exhibition, the Special Exhibition is organized with feature photographs that show how people in six cities from five continents – Seoul, New York City, London, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg – are suffering from and fighting against COVID-19.

Six photojournalists from six cities participated in the Special Exhibition. They include Chang Lee from The New York Times, Ed Jones from AFP’s Seoul Bureau and Ivo Gonzalez, former photojournalist of O Globo and photo chief at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The New York Times’ Chang Lee shared his personal experience of being infected with COVID-19 in a video interview. “Through the exhibition, I hope many people will join the efforts and sacrifices medical workers have been making to overcome the coronavirus,” he said.

Lee is a Korean American staff photographer for The New York Times and was a member of the staff that won two 2002 Pulitzer Prizes: one for Breaking News Photography for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attack on New York City and its aftermath; the other for Feature Photography for photographs chronicling the pain and perseverance of people enduring protracted conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The video interviews of six photojournalists can be seen via the exhibition’s official website and YouTube channel.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Seoul minimizes the number of photos displayed at the offline exhibition and offers the Digital Gallery and 360° Virtual Gallery at the website so that anyone can enjoy the exhibition without visiting the venue.

The 360° Virtual Gallery is created at the backgrounds of the Seoul Metropolitan Library, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Deoksugung Stonewall Walkway—the three significant landmarks of Seoul so as to enjoy the online exhibition, allowing people easy access and realistic experience. The Digital Gallery will also be an option to enjoy the exhibition to see photos with detailed explanations.

For the offline exhibition that will take place for 12 days from October 20 to 31, some photos will be displayed on the outer wall of the Seoul Metropolitan Library and the Sangam Digital Media Street.

25 photos will be installed on the Seoul Metropolitan Library windows so that visitors can enjoy the photos by walking along the building. For the Sangam Digital Media Street located between Sangam MBC and Seoul Business Agency buildings, 20 photos will be displayed at two-meter-tall frames and the digital electronic board.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government will invite citizens to online events held at the photo exhibition’s social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) and provide various gifts. Through the exhibition, Seoul plans to promote its brand image as a global city that leads its successful quarantine measures against COVID-19.


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